[IBM R&D AT ALMADEN 500 MILES PER CHARGE]
The secret sauce is Energy Density
“Current lithium ion batteries deliver an energy density of around 100 to 150 watt-hours per kilogram, while Envia’s battery can deliver 2.5 times that energy with about the same weight as the current electric cars that have hit the market.”
“Energy density is how much energy a battery can store and provide for the car with a given battery size — the more energy dense the battery, the less volume and weight is needed. For electric cars it is particularly important to have a high energy dense battery because electric cars need to be as light weight as possible (any extra weight just drains the battery faster), and batteries that are smaller and use less materials can also be lower in cost.”
[Source Envia Systems]
Lithium Air: IBM’s quest for the super-battery
See the lab at Almaden:
The goal “is to create a battery that will power the typical family car about 500 miles between recharges,” explains Winfried Wilcke, Senior Manager, Nanoscale Science and Technology with IBM. “Today’s batteries…fall short of this goal by quite a factor, with [the best batteries] only lasting approximately 200 to 240 miles.”
The days of $1.50 gasoline are long gone, and high costs coupled with environmental concerns have ignited a search for the battery that will power the cars of the future. IBM is at the forefront of this effort with its development of the lithium air super-battery.
Bridging this gap requires drastically increasing the battery’s energy density by making it lighter. IBM reduces the weight by getting rid of the heavy transition metal oxides like cobalt oxide or manganese oxide and replacing them with a lightweight, high-surface carbon structure.
The lithium air battery represents “the highest energy density of any imaginable system,” says Wilcke, “but it’s not easy to do. It’s a long-term project currently in its early science phases, but in the last six or seven months we have gotten a lot of positive results, which make me cautiously optimistic that this can actually work.”
Wilcke hopes to have a lithium air battery in cars by 2020. A battery that could power a car for 500 miles would certainly be worth the wait.
More info: IBM Research – Dr. Winfried Wilke
Argonne Lab Formost Center of Physics Research
“Gamechangers: Energy Science, Innovation, and the Future of America.”
In the National Laboratory system, we are working on new energy technologies that could transform the ways we generate, store and use energy, and that could protect our environment while recharging our national economy. But as we tackle the fundamental scientific research we need to discover and develop disruptive new energy technologies, it’s worthwhile to ask: What does it really mean to change the game? What does game-changing technology look like, and what are currently our best prospects for gamechangers? Ultimately, can we really change the energy game in this country? I believe the answer is yes — but only if we bring together the right people and give them the right tools to address the right questions. –Eric D. Isaacs
Bio: Eric D. Isaacs, a prominent University of Chicago physicist, is President of UChicago Argonne, LLC, and Director of Argonne National Laboratory.
Before becoming Argonne Director, Isaacs served as Argonne’s deputy laboratory director for programs, with responsibility for leading the laboratory’s strategic planning process and overseeing the laboratory-directed research and development program as well as its educational programs.
Earlier he distinguished himself both as director of the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne and as professor of physics in the University of Chicago’s James Franck Institute. During his 13-year tenure at Bell Laboratories, he was a member of the technical staff, director of the Materials Physics Research Department and director of the Semiconductor Physics Department.
He received a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988 in the area of magnetic semiconductors and was a postdoctoral fellow at Bell Laboratories (1988-1990) studying magnetism and correlated electronic systems, mostly with synchrotron-based X-ray techniques.
Graphene in new ‘battery’ breakthrough?
Mar 8, 2012 24 comments
Researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University claim to have invented a new kind of graphene-based “battery” that runs solely on ambient heat.
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